It’s almost here! For the first time in nearly 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible coast-to-coast in the United States. This rare event is coming up Aug. 21, 2017, and eclipse-mania has taken over, with events popping up (including some in Northern Virginia), hotels in the “path of totality” (areas that will experience a total eclipse) getting fully booked, and now special eclipse-viewing glasses being sold out in many places (update: Amazon is recalling some glasses).
But if you cannot get the glasses, you can still experience the the eclipse by using a special viewing projector that you can make yourself with some simple supplies that you likely already have at home. These pinhole projectors let you view this unique event safely and easily, as they reflect what’s going on and you can experience the phenomenon without looking directly at the sun.
Making a pinhole projector could be a fun family craft and science project and you can make different designs. Several sites have step-by-step instructions or videos; below we list some we found to be most helpful and easy to follow:
NASA Eclipse 2017: This official NASA site has a one-minute video on how to make a projector from a cereal box.
Time and Date: This site shows you how to make a paper projector from two pieces of cardboard or two paper plates.
Skyscrapers Inc.: Make a shoebox pinhole projector with these step-by-step instructions with diagrams.
Star Tribune: In this one-minute video, you will learn how to make a projector from a regular cardboard box.
Where and how will you be watching the eclipse? Let us know in the comments below!